RWITC coins new phrase: "Accidental, and upheld"
Nothing seems to be going right for the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) Ltd. The race club which finds itself on the threshold of bankruptcy is also being roundly criticized by racegoers for framing a Sunday card that certainly lacked in both q
Nothing seems to be going right for the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) Ltd. The race club which finds itself on the threshold of bankruptcy is also being roundly criticized by racegoers for framing a Sunday card that certainly lacked in both quality and quantity. Three of the seven races featured only five runners each, and one more had only 6 runners.
As if this wasn't enough already, a controversial decision coming from the stewards' room, when dealing with what looked like an objection without reasonable merit, brought the prestige of the club some more notches down on Sunday. It wasn't what most considered a bad verdict that raised the eyebrows, but the logic offered as reason for the decision--which plainly meant the interference was "accidental", and (therefore) the objection was "upheld".
Bottega Louie, trained by SK Sunderji and ridden by CS Jodha, had decisively won the Stylecracker Classic, beating favourite Cambridge (P Trevor up). However, Trevor, who tried to force his way on the inside without success, objected against the winner. The rewind of the film made it cyrstal clear that CS Jodha had not caused the kind of interference that would have reversed the length-and-three-quarters verdict, but the stewards, guided by a unanimous recommendation from stipendiary stewards, decided to uphold the objection and reverse the order of placings.
Shocking as the decision was, it was seen as ludicrous by the majority when they announced the description of the alleged interference as "accidental", forgetting that only interference caused by careless, reckless or foul riding can be punished, the accidental interference must be condoned as per the principle of natural justice.
"Never ever heard this before," Raj M, a veteran race lover who has been racing for exactly 51 years (his own words), told mid-day, "accidental--and upheld? Now, what does that mean?"
But of course, one may argue Raj M was talking through his pocket, because he quickly added, "My horse (winner) did not even touch him; this has cost me a packet."
But surprisingly, many who backed Cambridge also agreed they were lucky to collect. "There was no merit in the objection," G Bhaskaran, who watched the race as well as the slow motion replays on a CCTV, told mid-day, "it should have been overruled."
Within the rules, says stipe
When mid-day contacted chief stipendiary steward of the club, Shujat Hussain, he first defended the decision by saying that it was "within the rules". However, when mid-day asked him to explain the phrase "accidental and upheld", and inquired if he had ever heard it being used before, he added, "I will need to consult the records, and it can only be done tomorrow as the office is closed now."
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